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'Winnie!' South Africa bids farewell to Madikizela-Mandela

Krista Mahr, Associated Press | 4/14/2018, 3:52 p.m.
Tens of thousands of people sang, cheered and cried as the flag-draped casket of anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was escorted ...
Mourners gather at the Orlando Stadium for the funeral of anti-apartheid icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, portrait on placard, in Soweto, South Africa, Saturday, April 14, 2018. Madikizela-Mandela died on April 2 at the age of 81. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

In 1991, a court found Madikizela-Mandela guilty of the boy's kidnapping and assault and sentenced her to six years in jail. She appealed and was found guilty of being an accessory in the assault, and the sentence was reduced to a fine and suspended prison term. Madikizela-Mandela denied knowledge of any killings.

Mandela divorced her in 1996, claiming infidelity and saying that after his release from prison, his wife made him "the loneliest man."

Though she fought fiercely for democracy, Madikizela-Mandela floundered in a political career after the first free elections in 1994. Mandela, South Africa's first black president, fired her as one of his deputy ministers. Her stints as a lawmaker, a post she held until her death, were lackluster.

Mandela-Dlamini, her elder daughter, accused the media of being complicit in a long "smear campaign" against her mother.

"Praising her now that she's gone shows what hypocrites you are," she said during her speech. "It's become clear that South Africa, and indeed the world, holds men and women to different standards of morality."

Ramaphosa said the traumas that Madikizela-Mandela endured as a target of the powerful apartheid state inflicted "deep wounds" that never healed — and went largely ignored by many peers.

"She bore witness to our suffering . We did not do the same for her," he said. "Today is a moment to heal those wounds. Today is a time for healing as we put Mama Winnie to rest." -- (AP)